Wednesday, September 2, 2015

MultiChoice defends DStv repeats: 'A repeat is not a repeat if you haven't seen it'.

MultiChoice is defending something that irritates a lot of DStv subscribers - repeats and rebroadcasts, but on Wednesday morning said the old content shown isn't a repeat if a DStv subscriber hasn't seen it before.

On Wednesday morning at the Main Beach Marquee, MultiChoice held a MultiChoice Africa Media Roundtable press conference with some MultiChoice and M-Net executives attending the MultiChoice Content Showcase 2015 at the Outrigger Mauritius Resort & Spa in Mauritius.

In attendance as part of the panel was Tim Jacobs (MultiChoice Africa CEO), David Booth (the chief content officer for MultiChoice Africa), as well as Theo Erasmus ((M-Net regional director for East and Southern Africa and Lusophone countries), and Wangi Mba-Uzoukwu, who is M-Net West's regional director.

It's here where the satellite pay-TV operator defended repeats of programming.

"A repeat is not a repeat if you haven't seen it," David Booth told the press invited to MultiChoice's 5 day content showcase.

It partially explains the strategy behind MultiChoice adding content and channels like the recent SABC Encore (DStv 156).

Although it is a 100% rebroadcast channel with SABC archived content, and although it is decades old, not luring viewers as "appointment television" and while several shows are of dubious quality, it counts as "new" for DStv subscribers who've never seen it.

"Repeats are a part of the eco-system of multichannel television," said David Booth.

"It's about giving audiences another opportunity to see programming – the chances of coming to something first time round is getting smaller by the day because of the increasingly-fragmented viewing environment."

"We're seeing repeats and archive programming having more life. Having exclusively live content available costs billions and no broadcaster in the world has that kind of offering," said David Booth.

"The challenge for us is balancing fresh hours of content and archive programming, which is a fine balancing act."

DStv and several pay-TV channels - ranging from Sony Television and the BBC to SuperSport, M-Net, BET, MTV Base, A+E Networks UK's History, Lifetime and many others - are presenting their latest and upcoming programming and content over the next few days at the MultiChoice showcase.

Following anger and outrage from DStv subscibers across Africa after the English Premier League (EPL) was just moved to higher SuperSport channels on more expensive DStv packages, MultiChoice told the media on Wednesday that its EPL rights costs have increased by 70%.

That cost must be passed on to the consumer. 

Tim Jacobs who explained how EPL rights impacted DStv subscription fees, said EPL rights went up 70% this year. "In order to absorb that in our cost structure we had to rebalance content".

MultiChoice in some African counries like Kenya and Uganda - after MultiChoice Uganda in mid-August blatantly lied and said it won't happen - is shockingly hiking monthly DStv subscription rates by 25% from 1 October in Uganda and 15% in Kenya - the second price increase in one year.

DStv subscribers in Uganda are furious over the 2nd DStv price increase in 2015. In Kenya there is similarly outrage over the DStv hike

It's now fueling speculation over whether another price hike for South Africa and other African countries is also on the card who are also battling with weakening currencies against the dollar - the reason given for the latest DStv increase.